Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

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milon
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by milon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:15 pm

dizt3mp3r wrote:Instead of having a product like Thorium that needs to be financed in one chunk, my suggestion would be to have multiple targets - giving a price to each attainable goal. Of course you need to define a goal for identifiable items such as USB support, Windows shell completion or something similar. Set a realistic target and then ask for funding to achieve it.
The rest of your post was quite good, but goals such as "Better USB Support for ROS" or "Windows shell completion" are NOT projects that you can put on Kickstarter, etc. This is because crowdsourcing sites require you to have some type of product/service for your investors, and ROS is a free download anyway. Apart from a premium service or a physical product, we don't have anything to offer our investors. The trick is to create that premium service or physical product. That's where crowdsourcing comes in, and that's where ROS has a chance to make some money to support its own development. Remember, "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." Both Talent and Genius are quite marketable. :)

Webunny
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:35 pm

milon wrote:
dizt3mp3r wrote:Instead of having a product like Thorium that needs to be financed in one chunk, my suggestion would be to have multiple targets - giving a price to each attainable goal. Of course you need to define a goal for identifiable items such as USB support, Windows shell completion or something similar. Set a realistic target and then ask for funding to achieve it.
The rest of your post was quite good, but goals such as "Better USB Support for ROS" or "Windows shell completion" are NOT projects that you can put on Kickstarter, etc. This is because crowdsourcing sites require you to have some type of product/service for your investors, and ROS is a free download anyway. Apart from a premium service or a physical product, we don't have anything to offer our investors. The trick is to create that premium service or physical product. That's where crowdsourcing comes in, and that's where ROS has a chance to make some money to support its own development. Remember, "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." Both Talent and Genius are quite marketable. :)
One does NOT need something physical, and you do NOT need to have some type of product/service for your investors in the classical sense of the word. It's perfectly possible for open source programs to do just fine, as one can see now, and as already has been proven in the past (https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/ad ... ost_funded). I often see this argument from some people, but it just ain't substantiated. Look, you can go two ways; the first one is the commercial way, where, indeed, you offer something tangible for the money people invest in it (aka, creating a game, and backers get the game in question when it's finished). Or you can go the open source way, and let people feel they're part of something cool and make them WANT to sponsor you, just because they think it worth it - in which case the rewards just represent tokens of appreciation, and are not the main focus of the backers. We tried the first approach, it failed. I strongly recommend we try the latter, this time, when we want to go for another Kickstarter-project.

I partially agree you can't solely build a project around 'better usb support', but one doesn't have to make it more complicated than it looks. Just say you'll go for a 0.4 version, and describe the minimum requirements that that must be able to do. Once you arrive at that point, you've made hard on your promise, and no-one who backed you will complain.
Last edited by Webunny on Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RaptorEmperor
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by RaptorEmperor » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:36 pm

A question: Why did the team go through Kickstarter instead of something like Indiegogo? IMO expecting to raise $120,000 for a project pretty much every other computer nerd I know passes off as having no chance of ever being functional was suicide for Thorium. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, Indiegogo would at least allow the devs to still keep most of what money was actually raised, plus Indiegogo doesn't revolve around developing commercial products the way Kickstarter does. It seems Indiegogo tends to be the preferred site for nonprofits and fundraisers, which might be a better match for ReactOS's goals than Kickstarter. Plus, openly saying "This is a fundraiser for X and Y feature in ReactOS, the open-source Windows clone!" sounds more upfront and less shady to non-fanboys than "Hello, I am from Russia, give us your money, we make cloud computing company with your money using half-working operating system, you'll benefit from improved ReactOS, we promise." (The only way it would sound even more shady to someone unfamiliar with ReactOS is if the project head was Nigerian.)

Not that I think fireball is a scam artist or anything (he has my utmost respect), but most people I know think of the Russian mob, vodka, and Putin wrestling bears when they think of Russia, not a hotbed of damn good programmers. Of course, I'm American, too, so... :P

I really do think the disconnect between the service offered (Thorium) and the stated intention (improving ReactOS) deterred anyone besides existing ReactOS fans who already trusted fireball and Steve Edwards from jumping behind it. If I were unfamiliar with ReactOS and saw the Thorium fundraiser, I'd probably try ReactOS, see that it still acts like an alpha-build OS, and then get sketched out over why some dudes are trying to sell a broken operating system to people, almost like dudes that sell ReactOS discs on Ebay.

Even using the total that was pledged for Thorium as a reference to how much future fundraisers could raise is problematic, simply because there's no way in telling who actually pledged to fund it and who pledged just because, with no expectation of the target amount being met and having to pay up.

Webunny
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:57 pm

RaptorEmperor wrote:A question: Why did the team go through Kickstarter instead of something like Indiegogo? IMO expecting to raise $120,000 for a project pretty much every other computer nerd I know passes off as having no chance of ever being functional was suicide for Thorium. Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, Indiegogo would at least allow the devs to still keep most of what money was actually raised, plus Indiegogo doesn't revolve around developing commercial products the way Kickstarter does. It seems Indiegogo tends to be the preferred site for nonprofits and fundraisers, which might be a better match for ReactOS's goals than Kickstarter. Plus, openly saying "This is a fundraiser for X and Y feature in ReactOS, the open-source Windows clone!" sounds more upfront and less shady to non-fanboys than "Hello, I am from Russia, give us your money, we make cloud computing company with your money using half-working operating system, you'll benefit from improved ReactOS, we promise." (The only way it would sound even more shady to someone unfamiliar with ReactOS is if the project head was Nigerian.)

Not that I think fireball is a scam artist or anything (he has my utmost respect), but most people I know think of the Russian mob, vodka, and Putin wrestling bears when they think of Russia, not a hotbed of damn good programmers. Of course, I'm American, too, so... :P

I really do think the disconnect between the service offered (Thorium) and the stated intention (improving ReactOS) deterred anyone besides existing ReactOS fans who already trusted fireball and Steve Edwards from jumping behind it. If I were unfamiliar with ReactOS and saw the Thorium fundraiser, I'd probably try ReactOS, see that it still acts like an alpha-build OS, and then get sketched out over why some dudes are trying to sell a broken operating system to people, almost like dudes that sell ReactOS discs on Ebay.

Even using the total that was pledged for Thorium as a reference to how much future fundraisers could raise is problematic, simply because there's no way in telling who actually pledged to fund it and who pledged just because, with no expectation of the target amount being met and having to pay up.
I think this already was answered. Basically, Kickstarter is way more popular than any other crowdsourcer out there. Also, while the "This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal. " might be advantageous for the one raising it, it does leave something to be desired for those backing it, and want a result of it - this is regardless if it's commercial or non-profit, because it's the principle of the matter that counts that when you give something, you also want the other side to keep their promise. (Kickstarter DOES NOT revolve only around commercial projects, btw).

In as far as ROS is concerned, however, it might be viable to go with Indiegogo mayhaps, since we're arrive at 0.4, with or without enough backing. So maybe it's an option to consider indeed.

120000 was a bit much though, better keep it at 60000.

milon
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by milon » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:06 am

Webunny wrote:One does NOT need something physical, and you do NOT need to have some type of product/service for your investors in the classical sense of the word... Or you can go the open source way, and let people feel they're part of something cool and make them WANT to sponsor you, just because they think it worth it - in which case the rewards just represent tokens of appreciation, and are not the main focus of the backers...
Sorry if I was unclear. This is exactly what I meant. The "token" that we offer them is either something physical or some sort of premium service. It's a requirement of Kickstarter, etc. I agree that open source projects can do very well with crowdsourcing. I was only talking about the requirements governing crowdsourcing itself.

dizt3mp3r
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by dizt3mp3r » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:01 am

Just to put the record straight - I work with a lot of Russian programmers and they are very, very good. Personally, I do associate the Russia federation with good programming skills - the history of Russian and Soviet computing is weird and fascinating and has produced some superb programming talents. You should look it up.

I have recently just donated to a software project where they parcelled up tasks they wanted to do into discrete work packages and then set costed targets to achieve these items. The contributors then knew what they were contributing towards. Each target was associated with some specific functionality and the package has only delivered each specific bit of functionality as the money has been counted in. The application continues to grow and they call on more mini kick starts as time continues.

I've seen it work. It has the added benefit of allowing your 'clients' to decide what they want delivered, no more "just working on fixing bugs...", the 'clients' might say the recent shell improvements are a necessity and then donate towards it. The memory manager might be a biggie that you need to concentrate skills and resources on, so set it as a target and ask for money to do so. The important thing is to be realistic and go for the thing in chunks.

Personally, I can afford a tenner here or there for a mini-project kickstarter or two, if I knew I'd be helping things along. Seven or eight mini kickstarters might get 70-80 quid or so of my cash over time, if spread over 18 months or so. Your one big kickstarter received the ten quid I had to dispose of at this very moment. I am not flush enough to give you 70-80 from my wallet right now...

I know you are giving away Reactos so it never reaches a point where it is self-funding. It is a problem but I think smaller bites/chunks are the way to go.

Webunny
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:36 am

milon wrote:
Webunny wrote:One does NOT need something physical, and you do NOT need to have some type of product/service for your investors in the classical sense of the word... Or you can go the open source way, and let people feel they're part of something cool and make them WANT to sponsor you, just because they think it worth it - in which case the rewards just represent tokens of appreciation, and are not the main focus of the backers...
Sorry if I was unclear. This is exactly what I meant. The "token" that we offer them is either something physical or some sort of premium service. It's a requirement of Kickstarter, etc. I agree that open source projects can do very well with crowdsourcing. I was only talking about the requirements governing crowdsourcing itself.
Well, I've seen 1 dollar rewards being 'receiving a thank you'...so I don't think it's really all that clear cut. Regardless, if it's about a reward as a token of appreciation, it doesn't matter too much what it is. You can reward them with a mug or T-shirt, or a DVD (normal, limited or signed), or a mention as sponsor, or rename a major release after the wish of the biggest sponsor, or a lunch with some of the head developers or whatever: other projects do it like that too. It's possible Kickstarter requires *something* to be given in return, but since that ain't the main focus of open source projects (and those sponsoring them), it's really not a matter of the rewards (and their intrinsic value) themselves. At least, not for projects that go that (non-commercial) route.

Aeneas
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Aeneas » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:11 am

If you need an exchange of some sort, could it be "an increase in functionality"? Is kickstarter really limited to "goods", or might you exchange a "service"? Like, when the new element is done (I entirely concur with dizt3mp3r, btw), you send the 1$-sponsors a link by e-mail for the new release that they have co-sponsored: there, to their attention, is forwarded the improved software. (Id est, the "service" is the improvement and being informed of the release.) - For 1$, you obviously cannot expect wonders.

Webunny
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:26 am

Anyway, in the meantime the devs shouldn't wait too long and start setting up the donationbar again. As said, I've been told that Reactos is a recognised non-profit organisation in Germany (and thus in the EU), so any donation above 40 euro's should be tax-deductible. Is this true? I've been researching a bit, and it seems that while in principle a donation to another recognised non-profit eligible for tax-reduction in one country of the EU is valid for the whole EU, if one wants to be able to use the 45% of tax-reduction on the amount given, one still needs some 'certification'-paper, as I understand it. Can the Reactos foundation provide this? In that case, I would augment my donation to it considerably.

I notice none of the devs have responded on the Kickstarter thing and the 'what next' question. Maybe they're still gathering their thoughts about it, but I really think one shouldn't take too long for a reaction and new initiative; as said, it's no use crying over spilled milk. We must get something else going. At least the question of the non-profit thing and tax-reduction could be answered?

That alone would allow for European sponsors to add 40-50% to their donation without 'losing' any more money than what they usually give.

AmineKhaldi
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by AmineKhaldi » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:34 pm

Webunny wrote:... I've been told that Reactos is a recognised non-profit organisation in Germany (and thus in the EU), so any donation above 40 euro's should be tax-deductible. Is this true?
If you open the website, and click on the "Donate" button, you'll find a couple sentences in that page:

"Donations through PayPal are tax-deductible thanks to ReactOS Deutschland e.V. (please contact deutschland@reactos.org if you need a receipt)."
"Donations through ReactOS Deutschland e.V. bank account are tax-deductible (please contact deutschland@reactos.org if you need a receipt)."

Re. everything else in this topic, again, I'm sorry, but this is a topic that could really use points and suggestions illustrated into lists... etc instead of bulks of text. I got into a tl;dr situation here too even though I was interested in getting any more feedback in addition to what I saw in the Kickstarter comments section.

fred02
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by fred02 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:37 pm

AmineKhaldi wrote:If you open the website, and click on the "Donate" button, you'll find a couple sentences in that page:

"Donations through PayPal are tax-deductible thanks to ReactOS Deutschland e.V. (please contact deutschland@reactos.org if you need a receipt)."
"Donations through ReactOS Deutschland e.V. bank account are tax-deductible (please contact deutschland@reactos.org if you need a receipt)."
Thank you for pointing this out, Amine, but I still think it may need a few clarifications, at least to me. What countries does it applies-to? Euro zone? What about U.K., Denmark, Sweden, Norway? European Union? What about Switzerland or Andorra? What about Russia (I saw some special arrangements for tham), or Turkey, or Israel (I remember a couple of persons asking to make translations to these languages)? I understand that these administrative details are not funny to work out and ROS team privilege coding, but I agree with Webunny: in countries where it is tax-deducible, it has the potential to significantly rise the amounts given.

AmineKhaldi
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by AmineKhaldi » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:49 pm

fred02 wrote:Thank you for pointing this out, Amine, but I still think it may need a few clarifications, at least to me. What countries does it applies-to? Euro zone? What about U.K., Denmark, Sweden, Norway? European Union? What about Switzerland or Andorra? What about Russia (I saw some special arrangements for tham), or Turkey, or Israel (I remember a couple of persons asking to make translations to these languages)? I understand that these administrative details are not funny to work out and ROS team privilege coding, but I agree with Webunny: in countries where it is tax-deducible, it has the potential to significantly rise the amounts given.
As a general rule this applies everywhere. What you requested are details that fall into the responsibility of the one who considers donating. We can't be expected to know about these details because they may differ from country to country. If anyone is not sure about his/her tax system, they can go to the tax office and ask them about this. What ReactOS Deutschland e.V. can do is provide proof in the form of a receipt that they can send to the person who donated, by snail mail.

Webunny
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by Webunny » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:04 pm

AmineKhaldi wrote:
Webunny wrote:... I've been told that Reactos is a recognised non-profit organisation in Germany (and thus in the EU), so any donation above 40 euro's should be tax-deductible. Is this true?
If you open the website, and click on the "Donate" button, you'll find a couple sentences in that page:

"Donations through PayPal are tax-deductible thanks to ReactOS Deutschland e.V. (please contact deutschland@reactos.org if you need a receipt)."
"Donations through ReactOS Deutschland e.V. bank account are tax-deductible (please contact deutschland@reactos.org if you need a receipt)."

Re. everything else in this topic, again, I'm sorry, but this is a topic that could really use points and suggestions illustrated into lists... etc instead of bulks of text. I got into a tl;dr situation here too even though I was interested in getting any more feedback in addition to what I saw in the Kickstarter comments section.
Again, thanks for the pointer. It really was useful, this time.

As for your 're', see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13082#p106632 . Granted, posts here in this particular thread are a bit less structured than in the other, but it's doable if you put your mind to it. It might be, you have not the time to read it all, but that's something else, and isn't really our fault. A forum works that way, just like irc has it's own little quirks and habits and way of doing things.

If you're REALLY interested and yet can't muster the will to read any posts for it (a bit contradictory, that), I might be persuaded to make a list of all the major points and suggestions made in regard to the Kickstarter-project. On one caveat though: it's 'best effort' on my part, and thus I don't want to hear any complaints about how I 'misrepresented' or 'took out of context' the things I wrote and summarised. The context is here, in all these previous posts: if one wants it in whole; read it. If you don't or are unwilling, don't complain about me representing it as I deem it should be presented. It's one or the other, you can't have it both ways. If that's clear and you still want a shortened and summarised list of all the arguments/suggestions given, give me a sign: I'll go through all the posts and collect and list them for you.
Last edited by Webunny on Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RaptorEmperor
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by RaptorEmperor » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:07 pm

dizt3mp3r wrote:Just to put the record straight - I work with a lot of Russian programmers and they are very, very good. Personally, I do associate the Russia federation with good programming skills - the history of Russian and Soviet computing is weird and fascinating and has produced some superb programming talents. You should look it up.
Oh, I know for myself, I was stating that average people don't really know all that much. Probably the most visible Russian software here is Kaspersky (and I cheered a bit inside once I saw them finally make headway in the US market, since I had heard rave reviews from overseas), but not much else, and I'm not even sure how many people using Kaspersky even know it's Russian. There aren't any big name Russian game developers or whatnot to highlight Russia's ample programming talent here in the US to non-techies, though hopefully that'll change as Russia continues to grow.

Regarding the history, I thought those trinary computers the Soviets built were pretty wild, it's kind of sad they ditched their indigenous capability to start copying US architectures. :(

laurflorin
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Re: Thorium (ROS distribution) on kickstarter

Post by laurflorin » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:52 am

Although the kickstarter campaign has failed, there are still some websites which helped spread the word about it, such as

http://kolibrios.org/en/

http://lightquick.co.uk/reactos-thorium ... Itemid=252

and many other people.

Personally and in the name of the ReactOS community, I would like to thank them :)
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